I’m proud to say I’ve made the jump into two-dimensional television. I know what you’re thinking right now, too: “All television is two-dimensional, except for that newfangled bullshit 3D television thing. This girl is insane.” Well, by 2D TV, I mean animated television. Flat. Hand- or computer-drawn. Not acted. Voice-acted. That sort of thing. I’ve been resistant to it all my life, perhaps because I never had brothers to force me to watch The Simpsons or South Park, or perhaps because acting has always fascinated me. Or perhaps because cartoon humor never did anything for me. I’m happy to say that Archer has changed all that.
Granted, I’m still not a fan of watching fake mouths move, though I do appreciate the incredible effort and artistic talent that went into creating this (and all the other animated shows). The real draw for me is the writing. The one-liners are completely anachronistic, because they’re all super modern and the show is vaguely (or at least fashionably) set in the 60s, and also Russia is a threat in this world, so who really knows what era it is? But yeah, all the characters say things like “boner” and “yup” and “shit” in ways that could only be construed as 21st Century-isms. Okay, maybe that’s a weak argument. But trust me when I say that it happens, and it doesn’t matter because it’s still funny.
It took me a few episodes to sign onto this show, but once I got in, I was really into it. The characters are all total jerks, and they have no sympathetic appeal, but they sure do know how to zing each other. H. Jon Benjamin truly found his calling in voice-over work. He can deliver Archer’s bro-tastic witticisms so well that it’s hard to believe he could be any other character, and yet his IMDb page is a novel. Aisha Tyler is stunningly beautiful, as is her character Lana, but she too seems right at home behind the mic, sassing it up. Chris Parnell doesn’t really sound like himself as Cyril, but that animated rendering of him is almost too similar to his actual face. And I do love hearing Jessica Walter play against Jeffrey Tambor’s occasional drop-ins. It reminds me of the good old days.
Anyhow, my favorite part of this show, by far, are the sexually perverted exchanges between Cheryl (?), a.k.a. Judy Greer, and Pam, a.k.a. Amber Nash. These two crack me up beyond belief. I can’t decide if it’s their frank delivery of sexually-charged lines, their disregard for appropriate work behavior, or their pronunciation of various profanities. It all works. It’s hard to tell if they even like each other as characters, but it doesn’t really matter. Consistency is not important on this show. The one liners keep the ship sailing. I hate myself a little bit for resorting to that pitiful metaphor. In conclusion: Go FX!
And PS, I did totally notice Thomas Lennon as one gay guy in “Honeypot,” but I’m having a very hard time believing that Ron Perlman was the other.